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I'm going to upgrade my son's '65 I6 to a v8. I'm aware of all teh changes I need to make to the suspension and other components. My quesion is about the engine. I want the car to end up as a daily driver.

Fitment:
- Will any ford 289 or 302 fit in the '65?
- Do they all have the same bolt patterns to the mounts and the trans?
- If they're not the same, are there any I should stay away from?

I've located a '68 289 (C8AE-6015-B). It's missing the carb. Asking price: $750. Thoughts?
 

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The engine will fit. Motor mounts and bell housing (I think) will need to be changed along with the suspension.
 

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The 260/289 up through August, 1964 had a 5 bolt bellhousing. After that date it was changed to a 6 bolt bellhousing and continued through the last 5.0/302 in 2001. 5 bolt engines and 6 bolt engines do not interchange without more parts.

I wouldn't pay $750 for that engine. $300 would be reasonable.
 

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Yes. That's a pre 1970. It will bolt in exactly as that engine sits. However $750 is way over priced. It's not running, you have absolutely no idea if it's useable. It could have been rebuilt in the b past and no longer be able to be over bored for new pistons or if it has any cracks. It's not a high performance model. It's just a core, maybe $200. $150 without the brackets.

I have a 97 1/2 Explorer GT40P 5.0 that I have dressed up to look like a 66 289. I have very little money invested. I paid $450 for the engine, trans and all the EFI stuff. Sold off what I didn't want for $175 . Used aluminum intake $80, used Edelbrock carb $125 and a used Mustang cam $60. Makes about 280 hp.
 

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I am 99.9% through a I6 to V8 conversion on a 66.

1) If you know Fords, you have to think/coridnate to ensure you have the correct parts that work together. So yes, any old school 289/302 will work, just do your homework and ask questions as you have to ensure everything works together.

2) The engine in the picture, do you have more details? Does it need rebuilt, is it good to go as is? What was it last bored to? How many miles are on it? Is good to go as is, minus the carb? I bought my 289 for under 200 bucks five years ago, but it needed a total rebuild.

I have to add this since all I have left to do on my I6 to V8 conversion is a bit of tuning and correcting a few simple leaks. It is a lot of work to do correctly. What I paid to do my I6 to V8 conversion, I could have started out with a V8 car and saved a bunch, an easy thousand or two and I did 80% plus of the work myself. I don't know your situation, if you have a donor car for some of the V8 parts, if the car you have is sentimental, or if the I6 car you have needs all the parts replaced anyway so it does not really matter that much.



Best of luck
 

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Since you are replacing the transmission as well, bellhousing bolt pattern makes little difference, other than the fact that there are FAR, FAR more possibilities and availabilities that go along with the late '65 and up 6-bolt pattern. Dimensionally and, for the most part, accessory bosses, etc., are pretty much the same from '62 (221) through '01 (5.0) except for the deletion of the clutch equalizer bar pivot boss from the late seventies onward, some extra holes for knock sensors, etc., mid-block dipstick tube hole for double-hump oil pans (Fox body and later), changes to coolant steam hole location (important when swapping cylinder heads), one-piece rear main seal provision on late 5.0's, etc.

Your best bets, since you're not replacing an existing 260-289 is a late 5.0 from '85 (Mustang HO) or '87 (Passenger car/light truck) on up. Those will get you a roller cam-ready block (longer lifter bores, holes drilled for roller lifter "spider" retainer and one-piece rear main seal. The best motors, in my opinion, are the '85 and '87-92 Mustang/T-Bird/Mk7 5.0HO (forged pistons and okay heads) and even better, the '97-1/2 to '01 Explorer/Mountaineer (GT-40P cylinder head), '96-97 Explorer/Mountaineer (GT-40 Cylinder head).

IMHO, the '68 is the worst of the 289 series, if you're thinking about using the entire engine. It has the deep dished low-compression pistons and the 63cc combustion chamber heads with Thermactor "humps". Unless you're planning a rebuild and some aftermarket or other heads you'll be lucky to have a real static compression ratio of 7.8:1. Next on the "worse" list, for me, are the '74-77 302 blocks with 8.229" deck height.... okay if you're going to square and deck the block as there'll be plenty of meat there.

Given my choice as far as complete engines go, I'd surely grab a 289 with pre-Thermactor heads or an Explorer with GT-40P's. The difference is that you CAN (and should) do some mild port work and port matching on the 289's iron heads to maximize performance but unless you have a flow bench and prior experience with the "P" heads you shouldn't go near them with a die-grinder. You can easily make them flow worse than the worst mid-seventies emissions head out there. You can also work over the Thermactor heads by grinding down the restrictions made by the "humps" to flow decently as well.

A couple last things to remember.... the late seventies and up blocks don't have a threaded hole for a clutch equalizer bar pivot. Some still have the boss and it can be drilled and tapped. Some don't even have the boss. Handily, a fabricated adapter is made that bolts to the bellhousing to mount the pivot. The "double hump sump" pans have a side dipstick hole that needs to be plugged with a 3/8" steel welch plug...no biggie. Lastly, engine internal balance changed in '82 from 28.8 oz/inch to 50 oz/inch which required a different matching harmonic balancer and flywheel/flexplate. There are different "adapter" balancers to allow you to have the correct imbalance but still use your original engine pulleys... the early cars having a 3-bolt pulley/balancer and the later ones 4-bolts.

Smile, it's much easier than doing an I6 to V8 swap in a Mopar...
 

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I'm going to upgrade my son's '65 I6 to a v8. I'm aware of all the changes I need to make to the suspension and other components. My question is about the engine. I want the car to end up as a daily driver.
For a daily driver, I'd consider the I6 a better choice. Your conversion will require replacement of the axle, spindles, brakes, exhaust system, cooling system, transmission, driveshaft…
For a fraction of that cost and work, you could put a T5 5-speed in the I6, and the result would be dramatically improved acceleration and mileage. Good points in a daily driver. For sportiness, add GT dual exhaust, and it'll even sound like a V8. Other upgrades would be the Arning drop on the upper control arms, export brace, and a 1" front sway bar. The handling would be dramatically improved as well.

If you are determined to go through with it:

Fitment:
- Will any ford 289 or 302 fit in the '65?
Any 65-up will. The used engine you show would be an excellent choice for a driver.
- Do they all have the same bolt patterns to the mounts and the trans?
The 63-64 260/289 had a 5-bolt bell pattern.
- If they're not the same, are there any I should stay away from?
Just the 5-bolt, Nothing wrong with them, but bellhousings are harder to find, and they are wrong for your year.
I've located a '68 289 (C8AE-6015-B). It's missing the carb. Asking price: $750. Thoughts?
If it has good compression, and is not smoking, it's a good price.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I am 99.9% through a I6 to V8 conversion on a 66.

1) If you know Fords, you have to think/coridnate to ensure you have the correct parts that work together. So yes, any old school 289/302 will work, just do your homework and ask questions as you have to ensure everything works together.

2) The engine in the picture, do you have more details? Does it need rebuilt, is it good to go as is? What was it last bored to? How many miles are on it? Is good to go as is, minus the carb? I bought my 289 for under 200 bucks five years ago, but it needed a total rebuild.

I have to add this since all I have left to do on my I6 to V8 conversion is a bit of tuning and correcting a few simple leaks. It is a lot of work to do correctly. What I paid to do my I6 to V8 conversion, I could have started out with a V8 car and saved a bunch, an easy thousand or two and I did 80% plus of the work myself. I don't know your situation, if you have a donor car for some of the V8 parts, if the car you have is sentimental, or if the I6 car you have needs all the parts replaced anyway so it does not really matter that much.



Best of luck
Thanks for the input! Although cost is a consideration, I'm doing this work WITH my son which is worth the money I'll be sinking into it for me. The has no data to back it up so I decided to pass on the engine. Right now I'm leaning toward buying the parts individually since I've got no place to put a donor car. I offered $250 but didn't hear back. Thank you all for the questions - I'll use these in my search. I appreciate all of your guidance. When I find something I'll let you all know!
 

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Coolbeans Gimmea250swb, using this as a project with your son, I totally understand now. I am sure, one day down the road when we are up in heaven, your son will look back with fond memories and think of you when he looks at the Mustang or sees another Mustang.

If you have any questions on the conversion, let us know. I tried to be 100% as correct as I could. One thing if I recall that I do not see on the conversion list, are the steering stops on the lower A-arms. I don't know if it makes a difference (search the forum and you will see what I mean) if you use the six ones on the eight, but I did find a pair on e bay pretty cheap to ensure I was correct on the conversion. I don't know what type or condition your steering is in, but it is a GREAT time with the six still installed or no engine in the car, to remove the box and have it rebuilt (pretty easy to do with the six in the car, a pain in the a** from what I read with the eight in the car). One last thing, +1 on what 22GT stated, do the Arning/Shelby drop while you have the suspension apart and go with a bigger sway bar.

Different strokes for different folks, not being a hater. At 52, every car that I have owned in my life, has or has had a V8 in it. Yes, turbo 4 and 6's today have a lot of power, but I am old school, love my 97 Lincoln Mark VIII that I use as my daily driver today.

I am about done with the engine/engine bay work, for me......like the V8.

744969
744970
 

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For a daily driver, I'd consider the I6 a better choice. Your conversion will require replacement of the axle, spindles, brakes, exhaust system, cooling system, transmission, driveshaft…
Back in the 80s, the I6 was my preference for a daily driver just due to better fuel economy. There was a significant difference in I6 and V8 mileage comparisons before modern engine tricks became common practice. The V8 was also bad to overheat in Alabama Summer traffic.

Times change. Safely driving in 2020 traffic means a higher level of handling performance than required back in 1982. So I now believe the main benefit of doing a resto-mod upgrade is replacing the obscure 7.25" rear end, those crappy front spindles, the tiny drum brakes, and adding an overdrive transmission. The capacity for a taller tire with more tire choices is very nice too. Oh yeah... and aluminum radiators!

Now if you decide to keep an I6 motor after making those safety upgrades, then fine and dandy. The only downsides are slower acceleration, perhaps a lower potential resale value, and the need to tinker with that 1V carburetor a few times every year.

But fuel economy comparisons between a 1960s I6 and a 2020s V8 is much closer nowadays (if all else is kept equal). The modern engine has 10:1 compression, aluminum heads, and fuel injection, not to mention more cam profile choices. Nobody does it, but I suspect you can build a 200 HP 289 and use modern tricks to get the same mileage as the old I6.

I suspect a tame 300 HP 302 turning a T5 overdrive can get 25 MPG on the highway at 65 MPH. I got about 25 MPG with my I6+3-speed, so I have no doubt the I6 can get closer to 30 MPG with a T5 overdrive. But is that a big enough difference to matter to most folks who are into old Mustangs? I'd rather have a peppy 300 HP that can pass truckers than get 15% better mileage on the highway. I also never, ever want to rebuild that 1V carb again.
 

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My 66 4-speed A code 289 4V got 21 mpg on the highway. My 66 3-speed Sprint 200 got 30 mpg on the highway.

My wife rebuilt the 1100 carb in her Sprint convertible. I'll confess I did clean the parts for her when she took it apart. She did a good job considering she'd never seen a carburator before. Just followed the procedures in the Ford Manual.
 
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